My 5 Makeup Bag Essentials

I’m open about the fact I don’t wear makeup every day and when I do, it’s generally done very quickly (especially if I’m trying to get it done before the school run!).

With that in mind I thought it would be good to share my main go-to products for a quick, everyday look. These are products that I genuinely use all the time and couldn’t be without.

Tinted Moisturiser

I wear this more than foundation and it’s my go-to daily base all year round. I’m currently loving one by Beauty Pie* called Super Healthy Skin. It is listed as a tinted moisturiser, although they do advise you add it after your usual daily moisturiser. This works fine for me (with combination skin).

The tint has a slight iridescent glow that lights up your face, plus it has the added bonus of containing SPF20. It also gives a good level of coverage to help cover minor imperfections.

It may not be for everybody as there are only 5 colours in the range, but if you can get a match for your skin tone then I urge you to give it a try!

Application tip: Blend it well into your hairline and under your jaw as you would with a foundation.

*Beauty Pie is an online membership site where you can buy high-end products at a greatly reduced price. There is a monthly/annual fee, but I find this is well worth it for the saving and the products are great.


Under Eye Concealer

Even on days I’m makeup free, I’m rarely brave enough to venture out of the house without under eye concealer! It makes ALL the difference, trust me. Darkness under the eyes can be caused by several factors, including lack of sleep, poor diet, dehydration and, in some cases, they are hereditary. There are obviously things you can do to address the long-term solution to this, but as a topical quick-fix, concealer is your best friend. It’s important to remember that you wouldn’t use the same concealer under your eyes as you would to cover blemishes as the textures of the two are different. One is designed to illuminate while the other is designed to cover.

I’ve used quite a few different concealers over the years, some high-end, but at the moment I’m using Too Faced Born This Way Radiant Concealer, although I’m not sure if it’s being discontinued as there only seem to be dark tones available currently.  It’s around £20, creamy, so it’s easy to blend, and it offers a good level of coverage. I’ve also used the NYX HD Photogenic Concealer Wand, which is a steal at around £6!

For those with extremely dark circles, it may be necessary to use a camouflaging technique to neutralise the darkness before applying the concealer. Don’t panic though, I will save this for another blog (or you can always contact me for advice). 

Application tip: Dot it in the required area then blend into the skin in soft circular motions with a clean, fluffy eyeshadow blending brush. Ensure you set it with a translucent fixing powder (either loose or compact) to prevent creasing. Use a clean eyeshadow brush to pat it into the skin.


Eyeshadow Primer

This might sound like a faff, but believe me, it’s a life saver (especially for the more mature among us!). It’s great to use underneath shadows, but some days I just wear it alone to avoid any creasing in the foundation/tinted moisturiser. It can also serve to neutralise the eyelids, which can sometimes be more pigmented than the rest of the face.

You can’t go wrong with the range from Urban Decay. They have some in tinted shades so they’re perfect for wearing alone. They’re about £17 so again, if you’re unsure whether to invest try the one from the NYX range first.

Application tip: apply lightly all over the lid with your ring finger and allow to set before adding any shadow.



Eyelash curlers/ Mascara

Ok, so this is technically 2, but it’s difficult to scale things down to 5 products and these go hand in hand!

It’s amazing how many times I hear the words “I haven’t used eyelash curlers in years” when I get to this point in the make-over with my clients! For whatever reason I think they fell out of favour for a while, but believe me, you need a pair of these in your life! Whether your lashes are naturally short, medium or long, they will make such a noticeable difference by opening up the eye area and who doesn’t want big, beautiful eyes?!

Tip: Ensure you get all the lashes into the curler and hold it as near to the eyelid as possible. Pulse, rather than just press, and hold, for approx. 20-30 seconds for best results. Make sure you release/open them before attempting to take them off otherwise your beautifully curled lashes will no longer be attached to your eyelids!

On the mascara front there are so many to choose from and it can be daunting. As with the concealers, I’ve tried lots and personally I don’t find a huge difference between the high-end and High Street options in terms of the finished result. Some of the more expensive ones contain rejuvenating and conditioning ingredients that help to keep your lashes in tip top shape. Day to day I’ve been using Bare Minerals Lashtopia. It gives great volume and I’ve been really happy with the results. The brush is on the large side so if you have small eyes this may not be the best choice.

Application tip: Start at the very base of the lashes and work the mascara through to the ends using a zig-zag motion to cover all hairs. Use the tip of the wand to elongate the outer, longer lashes. Repeat as required.



The difference a bronzer can make (when applied correctly) is amazing. It can elevate your face to a different level and give you a glow, even without any shimmer in the product. It can just make you look more healthy, as opposed to flat. I know I was scared about using one initially and wanted to avoid the orange look, but these kind of products have come on such a long way and unless you’re using one in completely (and obviously) the wrong shade for your skin, you can’t go far wrong.

I personally love the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow (which includes a highlighter), but it’s quite pricey. If you wanted to try using a bronzer for the first time maybe opt for the NYX Matte Bronzer (avoid shimmer) as it’s only about £8. There are 5 shades available.  

Application tip: use a large, fluffy brush and start in the middle of your forehead; sweep the brush round onto your cheek bones and out and round under your jaw line (envisage you’re drawing the number 3).

There are other bits and pieces I do for a quick and easy day time look, but if I was only allowed 5 products for a month, these would be the ones I’d choose.


What are your 5…?